An order of priests has agreed to pay $166.1 million to hundreds of Native Americans and Alaska Natives who were abused as children at the order’s schools around the Pacific Northwest.
The settlement between more than 450 victims and the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus is one of the largest in the Catholic church’s sweeping sex abuse scandal. It also calls for a written apology to the victims.
The province previously settled another 200 claims. Then it filed for bankruptcy, claiming the payments depleted its treasury. But victims argued the province remained wealthy because it controls and owns several schools and properties.
The relationship between the Jesuit order and other Jesuit properties, including Gonzaga University, has been an issue in bankruptcy proceedings. But both the college and the province maintain they are separate entities.
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